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Top Headlines - part 11

Medical Device Maker Boston Scientific Cuts Jobs To Trim Operating Expenses

Medical Device Maker Boston Scientific Cuts Jobs To Trim Operating Expenses

BUSINESS

  • Boston Scientific Corp. recently announced job cuts of between 1,100 and 1,500
  • Third restructuring in last two years

Boston Scientific, one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers, plans to cut 1,100 to 1,500 jobs globally until 2015 to help trim between $150 million and $200 million in operating expenses and increase operating income margins from up to 25%.

The company further cites the purpose of this move, its third restructuring since 2011, as addressing financial pressure and streamlining production.

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Smartphone Maker Samsung Reports Profit Up 26%

Smartphone Maker Samsung Reports Profit Up 26%

BUSINESS

  • Samsung financial results boosted by smartphone, semiconductor sales
  • Samsung’s consumer electronics, display panel units report decreases
  • Samsung expects to see growth

Samsung Electronics, Asia’s largest technology company and the world's largest smartphone manufacturer, reported a 26% increase in third-quarter profit from 2012, boosted by smartphone and semiconductor sales. Net profit was $7.6 billion.

This marks the sixth quarter out of the past seven that Samsung has posted record operating profit.

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Streaming Video Service Netflix Secures 40 Million Subscribers

Streaming Video Service Netflix Secures 40 Million Subscribers

BUSINESS

  • Netflix US subscriber base hits over 30 million
  • Netflix international subscriber base rises to nearly 9.2 million
  • Netflix attributes subscriber growth to success of its original series “Orange is the New Black”

US-based TV and video internet streaming service Netflix has announced impressive third quarter 2013 earnings, with global subscribers now totaling 40 million.

In the US, Netflix added 1.3 million subscribers, bringing it to over 30 million domestic paid subscribers. These numbers have now put Netflix ahead of rival HBO, whose last subscriber count was just under 29 million.

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Beer Industry: Heineken Cuts 2013 Profit Outlook After Weak Third Quarter

Beer Industry: Heineken Cuts 2013 Profit Outlook After Weak Third Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Heineken revises outlook for second time in 2013
  • Sales in emerging markets not as strong as expected
  • Volume dropped 8% in central and eastern Europe

The world’s third-largest brewer Heineken NV revised its outlook for 2013’s full-year profit after a weaker than expected third quarter in both emerging and mature markets. This is the second time Heineken revised its outlook; in April, it lowered expectations for sales growth.

In the third quarter, consolidated organic beer volume fell 3%, and earnings were down 15% with net profit dropping to $665 million. Revenue grew 0.2% excluding acquisitions.

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British Government Okays First Nuclear Plant In 20 years

British Government Okays First Nuclear Plant In 20 years

BUSINESS

  • Plant part of UK domestic power strategy to move toward low-carbon energy
  • New plant to provide 7% of Britain’s electricity over next 60 years
  • Plant to be owned by French-Chinese consortium

The British government has approved the construction of the first new nuclear power plant in 20 years as part of a domestic-power strategy.

To be built by a foreign consortium at Hinkley Point C in southwestern England, the plant is expected to provide 7% of Britain’s electricity demand for 60 years, which is enough to power 6 million homes.

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China Invests In British Nuclear Power Plants

China Invests In British Nuclear Power Plants

BUSINESS

  • China approved to take stake in British nuclear power to lower risk of blackouts, increase financing in low-carbon energy
  • Deal expected to advance Britain’s plans to build a new nuclear reactor
  • China’s nuclear expansion marks end of moratorium post-Fukushima disaster

Chinese businesses have been granted permission to invest in nuclear power plants in the UK as Britain aims to lower the chance of blackouts and increase financing in low-carbon energy up to $177 billion through to 2020.

The deal is also expected to advance Britain’s plans to build a brand new nuclear reactor, its first in almost 20 years. The new reactor will feed into Britain’s overarching goal of developing a minimum of 12 reactors at five locations by the year 2030.

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Automotive Manufacturing Leader Toyota Recalls 885,000 Vehicles Worldwide

Automotive Manufacturing Leader Toyota Recalls 885,000 Vehicles Worldwide

BUSINESS

  • Recalled vehicles may have leak in air conditioning unit
  • Incident marks Toyota’s third US recall this quarter
  • Toyota has recalled 6 million vehicles in 2013

Japanese automaker Toyota is recalling 885,000 vehicles worldwide after discovering an air conditioning unit problem that can lead to airbag and power-steering problems. The models affected by the recall include the Toyota Venza, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry and Camry Hybrid models from 2012 and 2013.

The recall is focused on a water leak from the air conditioning condenser unit, which can cause a short circuit that could result in the airbags to inadvertently deploy or become disabled.  In rare cases, power steering could also become disabled.

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Food Group Danone Revises Sales Goals After Weak Third Quarter

Food Group Danone Revises Sales Goals After Weak Third Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Company image harmed by July baby-food recall
  • Water, dairy unit sales increased
  • Latest in recent setbacks for Danone

French food group Danone SA, the world’s largest yogurt manufacturer, has been forced to revise its full-year sales, profitability and free cash flow targets after an Asia recall of high-margin infant formula this summer led to weak third quarter sales. Like-for-like sales growth is now estimated to be between 4.5% and 5%, down from the company’s previous estimate of at least 5%.

Third quarter sales of baby foods fell 8.6%, and the recall is expected to cost Danone $473 million in lost sales. Sales in September were only 40% of sales in July. "Our priority is to get back on track for strong and sustainable growth in this region (Asia) as early as possible in 2014," says Chief Financial Officer Pierre-Andre Terisse.

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AstraZeneca Buys Biotech Company Spirogen To Focus On Oncology

AstraZeneca Buys Biotech Company Spirogen To Focus On Oncology

BUSINESS

  • AstraZeneca’s biologics research and development arm MedImmune acquires Spirogen for $200 million
  • Investment could increase by $240 million if milestones are met
  • AstraZeneca to focus on antibody-drug conjugates and immune-mediated cancer therapy

London-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm MedImmune has acquired privately-held biotech company Spirogen, which focuses on antibody-drug conjugate technology used in oncology.

AstraZeneca will initially pay $200 million and add on $240 million more provided Spirogen’s products meet all of the predetermined development milestones.

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Social Media Giant Facebook Buys Mobile Analytics Company Onavo

Social Media Giant Facebook Buys Mobile Analytics Company Onavo

BUSINESS

  • Facebook buys Onavo to support its Internet.org initiative, which aims to expand internet access to billions of people who are not online
  • Onavo helps reduce mobile phone costs with more efficient use of data, can measure app performance
  • People in emerging markets are kept offline because of high costs and prepaid tariffs

Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, has purchased Israeli mobile analytics startup Onavo to support its mobile business and Internet.org initiative, a project that aims to expand internet access to billions of people who are not online.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Israeli news sources estimate it is between $100 million and $200 million.

With a focus on smartphones, Onavo's mobile app helps reduce mobile phone costs with the more efficient use of data.

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